Gov. Kevin Stitt announced that he will not decide on whether to commute Julius Jones’ sentence, which the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended he do, until after a clemency hearing on Jones’ case is completed.
Stitt issued the following statement on Tuesday evening:
“I am not accepting the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation to commute the sentence of Julius Jones because a clemency hearing, not a commutation hearing, is the appropriate venue for our state to consider death row cases.
Clemency hearings are more intensive and thorough than a commutation hearing and include the option for the inmate to speak publicly before the Pardon and Parole Board as well as the victim’s family and attorneys from both sides.
The precedent in Oklahoma is for death row inmates to receive the clemency hearings to which they are entitled prior to their execution date.”